Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Discovering something new

Being an artist and a writer, I'm always exploring, improving, and otherwise looking for ways to express myself in new ways.

Thanks to a rampant round of insomnia, I managed to discover an artist named Natasha Westcoat.

Starting while she was still a teenager back in 2004, she started selling her work online and since then has sold an astounding 1000 pieces.

Her work has been so successful that not only is it all over the place, but now located as patterns on linens in major department stores.  For a relatively short career, she did what many aspiring artists like myself dream about: making it big.

While making it big would be exciting, big for me these days would be eeking a living.

However, her story inspired me in another way, in that it has turned me on to a growing art movement.  Whereas I had always thought that art had to be huge (after all, my instructors were always encouraging bigger and bigger) it seems that more people are catching on to a trend of shrinking.

What I am referring to is Artist Trading Cards.  The idea is to create original works of art but tiny that can be exchanged for other tiny works.  Clubs have formed around the world, and you can even do exchanges of work online to get exposure.

But apparently, people like to purchase these little gems as well.

As an artist, I consider this a tremendous opportunity to try something new at a low risk.  One of the most annoying aspects about trying new techniques is that feeling of investing time in it only to see it not come out the way you want and only finding this out at the end of a very long investment.  Or accidentally making your work a catastrophe by one screw-up.

The marvelous thing about this, is that I can complete an entire work in a matter of an hour.  If I want to try a more time-consuming technique it won't take me a week, but maybe a few hours.  If it doesn't work, it's not the end of the world.

Even better, I'm upcycling by using discarded paper samples from a prior job as a graphic designer.

All of this serves as proof, that often annoying circumstances like insomnia can actually turn into something productive and amazing.

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